(781) 383-1755 sales@kingjewelersinc.com

December 13, 2008

    "We’re very grateful for our regular customers, they are as loyal
as ever, but the traffic is definitely less," said Rizzo.            

    While the nightly news is grim, Cohasset merchants are doing their best to stay positive despite their circumstances.

"We’re
trying to keep upbeat and positive. Our goal is to be a village of
independent merchants who are in it for the long haul," said Bielewicz,
who has taken on a new emphasis in customer service to ensure clients
have a good experience.   

While numbers were up and down,
just like the stock market, in October and November, Darilynn Evans has
noticed a bit of an up tick over the past few days.

"We’re all
concerned, we’re all small businesses. We need people to come in and
support us," said Evans. "I think everyone (merchants and shoppers) is
being concerned and cautious."

But, being cautious doesn’t mean
they aren’t doing their best to reach out to customers and adjust to
the changing economic times.

A group of nine village businesses
have banded together to film a television ad to appear on cable
stations. Some merchants appear in the spot and much of the ad shows
the atmosphere of the village and its various stores, services and
products.

"One of the reasons we did it was to push people to
come to the village," said Evans. The television ad has aired this week
in the evening hours on various cable channels.

Other merchants are putting on different promotions or discounts. "Everyone is doing what they can," Evans said.

At
Carmela Drew, they have been coming up with ways to give customers more
value for their dollar. Their prepared meals are still popular, but
Rizzo is looking at creative ways to keep customers coming back.
Family-oriented specials and meals are forthcoming, as well as complete
gift baskets and they have begun carrying lower price point candy and
stocking stuffer items.

At Simply Fresh, they will be
introducing a family-oriented line of meals, good quality comfort food,
like lasagna and shepherd’s pie, that’s a little less fancy than past
menu items.

"If people are going out and spending, they want to
know they are getting value," said Rizzo. "We want to make our product
affordable and be flexible to the customer. They don’t want to be
paying through the nose for something, but they still want nice
quality."

All the village merchants are hoping the Annual
Village Holiday Stroll is once again a success. Businesses throughout
the village will have music, refreshments and special events this
Saturday night (Dec. 13) from 4 to 7p.m.

On Route 3A, King Jewelers, too, has taken steps to ensure there are products available at all price points.

"We
always try to have something for everyone anyway, but we have added
some lines that are designer looking for a lower price point," said
Valerie King, owner of King Jewelers.

In the month of
November, King Jewelers saw a 15 percent increase in sales over last
year’s numbers partly due to several successful event nights. King said
December has started off a bit slower, but business has been picking up
everyday.

"Honestly, if our numbers were flat, I’d be happy," said King. "We’re predicting a December at least as good as last year."

While her numbers have remained constant, King says the customers are spending less than they have in the past.

With
the news about the country is in a recession and the financial markets
in turmoil, King knows her numbers aren’t happening across all
industries and merchants and credits it to shoppers who are staying
local.

"I feel like in tough times people stick around home a
lot more," said King. "People should keep a positive attitude and not
watch the news!"

Bielewicz concurs, "people may be cutting corners where they can, but they are still celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah."